Sternal cleft and segmental facial hemangiomas in children with phaces syndrome: effectiveness and safety of conservative management and surgical correction

Wiad Lek. 2020;73(6):1267-1271.


Objective: The aim is to determine the risk factors of sternal cleft and segmental facial hemangiomas association in children with PHACES syndrome.

Patients and methods: Materials and methods: 32 inpatient children with segmental facial hemangiomas and 19 children with sternal cleft were investigated concerning the Metry criteria of PHACES syndrome.

Results: Results: In 6 children PHACE syndrome was diagnosed. Patients with bilateral S3 hemangiomas (50%, 3/6) had airway involvement with respiratory disorders. Conservative treatment was propranolol monotherapy (66.7%, 4/6), or combination of prednisolone and propranolol (33.3%, 2/6). Duration of propranolol treatment in children with PHACES syndrome was on an average 24.25 ± 4.49 months exceeding the duration of propranolol therapy in children with isolated soft tissue lesions (p<0.05). Primary surgical treatment of sternal cleft performed in children aged 2 (n=3) and 4 (n=1) months. The later period of surgery associated with the localization of hemangioma in the surgery region. Primary repair of sternal cleft was completed successfully in all cases; partial resection of the thymus made closure easier.

Conclusion: Conclusions: Primary surgical correction of a sternal cleft performed in young children provides good results. Partial resection of the thymus prevents respiratory and cardiovascular complications. Preoperative propranolol treatment averts the hemorrhagic complications in children with hemangiomas in surgical region.

Keywords: sternal cleft; propranolol; segmental hemangioma; PHACES syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Conservative Treatment
  • Facial Neoplasms*
  • Hemangioma*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Musculoskeletal Abnormalities*
  • Sternum / abnormalities

Supplementary concepts

  • Sternal cleft